2015 fantasy football profiles and projections (DB 17-32)

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............8

The Eagles acquired Jenkins prior to the 2014 season in the hopes that he would help patch the gaping holes in their secondary. While his presence alone didn't solve that issue (the Eagles allowed 30 passing touchdowns in 2014), Jenkins did provide a stable spot in coverage while putting together a solid fantasy season. The additions of Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell should help to further lock down their secondary, potentially freeing Jenkins up to make even more plays in the secondary. While he's not trustworthy as a DB1, Jenkins does provide nice value as a backup or flex player in IDP formats.

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............7

It took a little while for Clinton-Dix to truly adjust to the pro game last season as a rookie, but once he did he became a reliable fantasy contributor. In Year 2, the Packers will be looking for the Alabama product to take the next step and help take control of their secondary with Morgan Burnett. Clinton-Dix's two interceptions in the NFC Championship game are a great sign that he'll be up to the challenge. Look to nab this youngster as a DB2 in the later rounds, and hope he lives up to his potential and emerges as a true No. 1 defensive back this fall.

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............9

Chancellor had a bit of a down season in 2014, missing two games with injury and lacking a little of his trademark explosiveness in others. However, "Bam Bam" will once again be on the fantasy radar in 2015 as he'll be back at full strength and ready to lead the "Legion of Boom" in their quest to reach the Super Bowl for a third-straight season. Chancellor's down-hill, physical style allows him to rack up tackles and turnover-inducing plays for the Seahawks, and has also given him a reputation as one of the most intimidating presences in the middle of the field. His ceiling is a bit lower than other DBs given the wealth of talented playmakers in the Seattle secondary, but he's worth grabbing as a DB2 or flex option.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............9

As a rookie, Bucannon was tasked with playing a hybrid linebacker-safety combination, despite being drafted to play in the secondary. He handled those duties with aplomb, notching 66 solo tackles and two sacks while bouncing between both positions. Heading into 2015, the Cardinals' linebacking situation is a little more stable, which means Bucannon can move back to his natural spot as a strong safety. He'll likely pair with Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Johnson to form one of the NFL's top safety groups. If Bucannon wins the lion's share of the snaps as we're expecting, he'll merit DB2 consideration in fantasy drafts.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............10

Rookie defensive backs often have a bit of a harder route to immediate fantasy success, as they must adjust to the intricacies of the NFL passing game. However, if there is one youngster to hitch a fantasy wagon to in 2015, it's Landon Collins of the New York Giants. Their secondary was a mess last year, and the team will be counting on Collins to shore it up from Week 1. He will likely endure some struggles in coverage as he gets up to speed, but he'll offer an immediate physical presence in the box that could equate to fantasy success. Word out of New York is that Collins has already stepped into a leadership role with the team, and fantasy owners should give him a shot as a DB2 hoping he can lead their fantasy team to success.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............9

Branch was on the path to IDP stardom, but back-to-back years with season-ending injuries in 2013 and 2014 derailed him from that track. His injuries were likely part of the reason he was cut by the Raiders, and only signed a one-year deal this offseason with the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it could be that very one-year deal that helps him get back on track. Branch is a sure-tackler with great instincts and coverage skills. He'll be an immediate benefit to the Chiefs secondary, and has a sneaky chance to work his way back into IDP relevance. He carries some risk given his rash of serious injuries in recent years, but Branch is worth a shot as a flier late in IDP drafts.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............7

Nelson bounced back a bit from 2013 to 2014, setting a new career-high for total tackles with 95. This could have been a result of tackle machine Vontaze Burfict missing much of the season with injury, though. Either way, Nelson has value in fantasy this fall, but shouldn't be trusted as a DB1. He can fill a need as a matchup-based or potential flex play for leagues with extra IDP spots.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............11

Whitner's first season in Cleveland was a fantasy success, as the issues with the Browns front seven allowed plays to flow right to Whitner. This allowed him to rack up over 100 combined tackles for the second time in his career (and first time since 2010). The Browns are hoping the addition of rookie Danny Shelton to the middle of their line might help that situation. Even if Shelton does shore things up for the Browns, Whitner will still be heavily involved in run support and should be a solid DB2 in 2015.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............11

Byrd was one of the biggest names in free agency last season before he signed with the Saints, sending expecations in real life and fantasy football sky high. Unfortunately, all of those expectations came crashing back to Earth when Byrd tore his meniscus in Week 4. Even before the season-ending injuyr, Byrd seemed to be struggling with the Saints, giving his lost season an even stronger aura of disappointment. Nevertheless, Byrd was one of the league's top safeties prior to 2014 and will be fully healthy to start this upcoming season. He is a great sleeper option as a DB2 this fall.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............9

When the Chiefs needed a playmaker to step up in their secondary, Parker answered the call. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2014 that saw him set career highs across the board. Parker was versatile enough to play both cornerback and safety, but odds are he slots into a more permanent safety role, potentially alongisde newcomer Tyvon Branch. Parker would likely be ranked higher had he put together one great season, but heading into 2015 he'll make a nice high-upside DB2 to target in drafts this fall.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............7

On the field, Mundy wasn't one of the better safeties in the league in 2014, but in fantasy it was a different story. Mundy racked up tackles all season long behind a leaky front seven, and tacked on four interceptions as well. This was far and away Mundy's most successful season as a pro, so there will certainly be questions as to whether he can duplicate his success. New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio should be able to help turnaround the Bears swiss-cheese defense, but that change won't happen overnight. He'll still need an influx of talent around him, like new safety Antrel Rolle (a nice start). Until he gets more help, the Bears' work-in-progress defense will continue to allow plenty of plays to head Mundy's way in 2015.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............5

It was a shame to see Tillman robbed of another season of football in 2014 from a triceps tear -- the same injury that cost him much of 2013. At 34 years old, Tillman has joined the Panthers for a shot at the postseason once again. It'll be interesting to see if Tillman can unseat either Josh Norman or Bene Benwikere for a starting gig, as both young corners played pretty well down the stretch. If Tillman wins out, he'll definitely be worth a late-round flier as the wily veteran knows how to fill out a stat sheet like few others at his position.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............10

Moore caught the injury bug after back-to-back solid seasons, missing a total of nine games in 2014 while being limited in others. In his stead, Kemal Ishamel filled in admirably and turned in a solid fantasy campaign. Now back at full health, Moore will look to join Ishmael in the Falcons' backcourt to form a talented safety duo. Given his age and the rash of injuries, however, it's best to target Moore as a DB2 in 2015 rather than risk an earlier pick on him.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............8

2014 was a year to forget for DeAngelo Hall. After getting off to a rough start by tearing his Achilles' tendon in Week 3, his season took a nose dive when he retore that same Achilles in October. This could signal a move to free safety for the longtime cornerback, something head coach Jay Gruden has hinted at. If Hall's starting for Washington in the fall, he should be rostered as a higher-upside DB2. However, with so much riding on his health, there isn't even a guarantee that Hall makes the Redskins' final 53-man roster. Keep an eye on him as the season approaches.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............10

For being billed as a big-hitting safety, Swearinger sure missed a lot of tackles. That's part of the reason he was released by the Texans after two seasons and has now wound up in Tampa Bay. Perhaps Lovie Smith can mold Swearinger into a sure-tackling safety, which is what fantasy enthusiasts should hope for. As it stands, the South Carolina product is a depth pick in fantasy, or a late-round flier at best.

Auction...............$1

Bye Week.............9

After missing all of 2013 with an ACL tear, Brown struggled throughout the 2014 campaign with the Giants, even getting benched at times. However, another year of recovery and a new team could be just what the doctor ordered for the former ballhawk. With D.J. Swearinger out of the picture in Houston, Brown figures to be penciled in as the Week 1 starting strong safety. The Texans' talented defense could allow him to thrive and get back to 2012 form, when he broke up 11 passes and intercepted eight others. Brown's best value is as a late-round flier with the hopes that he delivers a breakout campaign to land a new contract with the Texans.

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